Democratic challenger Tony Avella declared victory late Tuesday, despite a lack of a concession speech from his rival, Republican state Sen. Frank Padavan.
"I'm truly humbled by all of you and what you've done here tonight," Avella said in front of a jubilant crowd at C.J.'s American Grill in Bayside. "It wasn't my victory, it was your victory. It was a victory for diversity. It was a victory for the new faces of Queens."
However, Padavan's camp wasn't calling it a quits — at least, not yet.
In a speech to his supporters at nearby Bourbon Street Café on Bell Boulevard, Padavan said the ballots were to be impounded by the city Board of Elections and that the "final answer" would come in a couple days. "But don't lose sleep over it," he told his supporters. "I'm not."
After Avella's speech Tuesday night, state Sen.-elect Mike Gianaris, D-Astoria, characterized the 11th State Senate District as being firmly in the Democratic column. According to Gianaris, Avella was up by around 4,000 votes, with over 50 percent of precincts reporting. "It isn't close," he said.
Flanked by state Sen. Toby Stavisky, D-Flushing, and Gianaris, Avella was already looking to the future. "We are going to bring the face to reform to Albany," he said "We are going to make the state of the New York more responsive to the people of this city and this state."